Iloilo expropriation case highly-politicized: judge

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    The regional trial court judge handling the expropriation case filed by More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) suggested that the case be transferred outside Iloilo City as it has become “too politicized.”

    In a statement, Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular of the Iloilo branch 35 Regional Trial Court, said the move is “for the best interest of the parties” after administrative complaints were filed against him at the Supreme Court last month by MORE Power president Roel Castro and company lawyer Hector Teodosio.

    “(I) had numerous expropriation cases which were disposed promptly in the past. The present expropriation case is a case of first impression. There has been no precedent of this case ever filed before in the Philippine judiciary to the best of (my) knowledge given the present factual setting. So, many legal issues confront the court, hence it is most unfair to charge the court that it is delaying the case,” Amular said in a statement.

    MORE Power sought the removal of Amular as the judge handling the expropriation of Panay Electric Co. (PECO), accusing him of grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics.

    Castro and Teodosio said Amular delayed resolution of the case in favor of PECO as shown by his order to MORE Power to agree to a settlement of the case with PECO during a meeting in his chamber last September.

    They also claim that the judge delayed the implementation of the writ of possession issued by another judge who previously handled the case in August 2019 since it will empower MORE Power to take over PECO assets.

    MORE Power has deposited more than P481 million as just compensation for PECO’s assets in compliance with the expropriation rules. – J. Macapagal

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